Forums - Politics Discussion - Obama's new climate policy

Is Obama doing enough to deal with Climate Change?

yes
no
don't know
I don't trust Obama in any situation

A far-reaching plan to fight climate change detailed by President Barack Obama on Tuesday would profoundly reshape the way the U.S. produces and consumes electricity, though the resistance it is sure to encounter promises to sow uncertainty for an industry already buffeted by shifting rules and economics.

President Obama says he will direct the EPA to create carbon standards for power plants and stresses that he will work with anyone to fight climate change, but has no patience for those who ignore it, in a speech at Georgetown University on Tuesday.

As part of a much-anticipated speech at Georgetown University, in which the president laid out the first-ever federal effort to rein in greenhouse-gas emissions from the power sector, Mr. Obama also said he would approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline later this year if it didn't "significantly" increase net greenhouse-gas emissions. Mr. Obama's conditional remark was meant, in part, to blunt criticism that approving an oil pipeline would be at odds with his climate policy.

His speech stirred strong reactions from business leaders: Manufacturers raised fears the plan would raise electricity prices and cut competitiveness, while the plan drew support from nuclear and other clean-energy companies that stand to benefit if greenhouse-gas emissions are restricted.

Mr. Obama's push, which doesn't require congressional approval, faces years of political and legal challenges. If put into place, planned curbs could accelerate the demise of coal, the backbone of power generation since the days of Thomas Edison. New regulations could make natural gas and nuclear power more attractive, since they emit less carbon dioxide than coal-fired power plants, and they could greatly boost renewable energy, such as wind and solar power, and speed the adoption of energy-efficiency measures.

A push to cut back existing coal-fired generation capacity could also lead to a supply crunch if a recovering U.S. economy spurs greater demand for power, while possibly raising electricity rates for consumers, industry analysts said.

Mr. Obama on Tuesday offered his most aggressive attack on opponents of measures to curb carbon pollution. "We don't have time for a meeting of the flat-earth society," he said, outlining a suite of steps the administration can take without the need for legislation that would begin to meet Mr. Obama's goal of curbing greenhouse-gas emissions 17% from 2005 levels by 2020.

The centerpiece is the first-ever federal effort to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions from existing power plants, the source of about one-third of such emissions in the U.S.

Mr. Obama's plan includes other measures meant to reduce emissions, including federal loan guarantees for cleaner fossil-fuel energy projects; new fuel-economy standards for heavy trucks; and greater cooperation between the U.S. and major economies including China, India and Brazil.

The president's speech drew strong criticism from Republicans. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said the plan is "tantamount to declaring a war on jobs. It's tantamount to kicking the ladder out from beneath the feet of many Americans struggling in today's economy."

Energy experts said the new regulations could spur more use of natural gas, which emits about half the carbon dioxide of coal.

Investors saw the plan as a boon to the natural-gas industry, sending up shares in firms such as Devon Energy Corp., DVN -1.19% SandRidge Energy Inc., SD -1.04%and EOG Resources Inc. EOG -0.64% by about 2%.

Washington Wire

Gerald F. Seib: President Obama takes his most important environmental initiative yet when he announces measures to combat global warming. But the politics of that maneuver are tricky for a president trying to be both an environmentalist and leader taking America towards energy independence. Read More

Utilities heavily invested in clean energy, including NextEra Energy Inc.NEE +0.73% and Public Service Enterprise Group Inc., PEG -0.76% also welcomed the plan, though they said they preferred legislation.

Some U.S. utilities that burn coal to generate electricity reacted with caution. "The devil is in the details," said Brad Watson, a spokesman for Luminant, a large power-plant operator in Texas that burns coal. "Overall, we want to see a policy that's broad and that would cover all sectors, not just the power sector and especially not just coal generators."

American Electric Power Inc., AEP -0.27% a Columbus, Ohio-based owner of utilities, expressed cautious optimism about the rules, saying it hopes the administration will take a "balanced approach" that will include flexibility for power-plant operators.

Vic Svec, a senior vice president of St. Louis based Peabody Energy Corp.,BTU +0.69% the nation's biggest coal producer, said any reduction in coal generation would hurt Americans "who would feel the same pain at the plug that we all feel at the pump."

The coal-mining industry is already reeling from the country's glut of cheap natural gas. Any pain could spill over into the bottom lines of railroads that have turned coal-hauling into a lucrative business.

Energy analysts say the new rules, combined with environmental standards now being implemented, could push about one-third of the U.S. coal-fired fleet into retirement. Much of that shortfall could be made up from other sources, because electricity demand is nearly flat. But it could also expose industries and consumers to more volatile prices, one reason power companies have resisted relying too heavily on gas for power generation in the past.

"Natural gas has broken more hearts than any movie star. Coal is unsexy, but it's there for you," said Kevin Book, managing director at Clearview Energy Partners LLC in Washington.

Some big industrial users expressed concern that higher or more volatile power prices could undermine their competitiveness. "We compete globally against countries, including China, where the industry is often state-owned, controlled, and subsidized, including for electricity costs," said Thomas Gibson, president and CEO of the American Iron and Steel Institute.

Canada's oil industry and government welcomed Mr. Obama's statement about the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline. Canadian Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver told reporters that both the Canadian government and the U.S. State Department, which heads Washington's regulatory process on Keystone, believe the controversial pipeline connecting Alberta's oil sands to the U.S. Gulf coast will not "significantly exacerbate" pollution. The CEO of Keystone operator TransCanada Corp.,TRP.T +0.42% Russ Girling, said he was "pleased" with the president's latest remarks.

The renewed emphasis on climate change reopens Mr. Obama to Republican allegations that he is waging a "war on coal," which could be a factor in the 2014 elections in states with large coal industries. The plan received a distinctly chilly reception from coal companies and politicians in coal country.

Mr. Obama's plan also could rejuvenate an environmentalist base that had become disillusioned in the wake of Washington gridlock. "This is the change we have been waiting for on climate. Today, President Obama has shown he is keeping his word to future generations," said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club.

The measures will take years to be put in place, and may not be finished by the end of Mr. Obama's second term. Industry groups, which have been bracing for increased regulation for several years, have already signaled their intention to fight in the courts.

"The unknowns here are still much bigger than the knowns," said Michael Levi, an energy expert at the Council on Foreign Relations. "We know there will be regulations, but we don't know how aggressive or flexible they'll be."

The administration is finalizing tougher emission standards for new power plants, which must be in place before it can set rules for existing power plants. Mr. Obama said he would direct the EPA to "put an end to the bottomless dumping of carbon pollution from power plants."

From~http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323683504578566264197407052.html



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I am against these measures. I want the globe to become warmer, especially here in the North where I live. It's such a cold world we live in.

In my opinion, he is not doing enough but at least the USA is finally doing something. I wouldn't rely on gas so much, fracking is such a dodgy process. It pollutes ground water and has been known to cause small earthquakes. Nuclear is not much better as it produces so much toxic waste which takes 1000's of years to decay although while renewables are still being developed and improved, it is an okay energy source. Much better than the fossil fuels which will run out in 100 to 200 years. He should of pledged to give tax incentives/ subsidies to companies who will improve renewable energy and make it affordable for people to use, which won't happen without investment. Also, surely new energy standards are a good thing as less energy is wasted, meaning we will pay less as less is used.

Also, where are the enforcements on stuff like recycling but also packaging of consumer goods? Afforestation? Protection of endangered species? A hint at promising to stay out of the Arctic? Instead, he would rather approve Keystone XL! He may deny it now, but he will approve regardless of what he said.

When it comes to climate there is a plenty we can do to adapt but we are still not awake to the reality. That is very dangerous to our future prosperity

PSP, PS3, Vita, 3DS, Wii U and PS4.

'Man is Wolf to Man' 

'When the people are being beaten with a stick, they are not much happier if it is called the people's stick'- Mikhail Bakunin

Deep, Deep sleep of England

I dont really have an issue with the underlying points of his ideas... HOWEVER what i do want to ask him is HOW ON EARTH does he plan to produce energy? Right now apart from Nuclear and Fossil fuels No other energy source is capable of generating sufficient energy to meet our needs... Unfortunately Nuclear reprocessing has been outlawed so Nuclear isnt nearly as cost effective or clean as it could be and for that It will be forever demonized... that leaves us with... Fossil fuels... Cool

Mostly playing  League of Legends nowadays. Or other games that I get from steam for dirt cheap. Just cant seem to get into too many different games. If you have any suggestions let me know.

Slimebeast said:
I am against these measures. I want the globe to become warmer, especially here in the North where I live. It's such a cold world we live in.

wtf

"Global warming" is not the consensus any more. It is called climate change, because in general conditions will change a lot: temperatures will get colder OR warmer; weather in general will become more extreme (more severe storms or droughts) and very, very little of it will be good for the area.

Any change, cold or warm, will endanger local life which has adapted to the conditions.

Suppose the annual rainfall in your area was halved? or doubled? Do you think you'd enjoy that?

--

Even if you don't accept the above, relying on fossil fuels is a bad idea anyway. (Obama's plan to make more use of natural gas is also bad). It means funding unstable areas of the planet. It means we won't be ready for a sharp rise in prices as available supply falls. We need to be transitioning to sustainable forms of energy anyway.



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1337 Gamer said:
I dont really have an issue with the underlying points of his ideas... HOWEVER what i do want to ask him is HOW ON EARTH does he plan to produce energy? Right now apart from Nuclear and Fossil fuels No other energy source is capable of generating sufficient energy to meet our needs... Unfortunately Nuclear reprocessing has been outlawed so Nuclear isnt nearly as cost effective or clean as it could be and for that It will be forever demonized... that leaves us with... Fossil fuels... Cool

Just because renewable energy isn't very good now doesn't mean it will always be this way. It's a fairly new technology, it just needs some investment and should be fine in a few years. Either way, we can't stick with fossil fuels. If the climate didn't change, we would still have to change as our over consumption of fossil fuels means they will run out very quickly and the consequences would be devastating if we suddenly had no energy. Just look at the panic caused by petrol shortages. We are humans, we can and must progress before it is too late. 



PSP, PS3, Vita, 3DS, Wii U and PS4.

'Man is Wolf to Man' 

'When the people are being beaten with a stick, they are not much happier if it is called the people's stick'- Mikhail Bakunin

Deep, Deep sleep of England

the2real4mafol said:
In my opinion, he is not doing enough but at least the USA is finally doing something. I wouldn't rely on gas so much, fracking is such a dodgy process. It pollutes ground water and has been known to cause small earthquakes. Nuclear is not much better as it produces so much toxic waste which takes 1000's of years to decay although while renewables are still being developed and improved, it is an okay energy source. Much better than the fossil fuels which will run out in 100 to 200 years. He should of pledged to give tax incentives/ subsidies to companies who will improve renewable energy and make it affordable for people to use, which won't happen without investment. Also, surely new energy standards are a good thing as less energy is wasted, meaning we will pay less as less is used.

Also, where are the enforcements on stuff like recycling but also packaging of consumer goods? Afforestation? Protection of endangered species? A hint at promising to stay out of the Arctic? Instead, he would rather approve Keystone XL! He may deny it now, but he will approve regardless of what he said.

When it comes to climate there is a plenty we can do to adapt but we are still not awake to the reality. That is very dangerous to our future prosperity

Totally agree with this. At least he is trying. here in canada the  *** prime minister still call climate changes an hoax. What a bunch of retards we have here.



travis said:
the2real4mafol said:
In my opinion, he is not doing enough but at least the USA is finally doing something. I wouldn't rely on gas so much, fracking is such a dodgy process. It pollutes ground water and has been known to cause small earthquakes. Nuclear is not much better as it produces so much toxic waste which takes 1000's of years to decay although while renewables are still being developed and improved, it is an okay energy source. Much better than the fossil fuels which will run out in 100 to 200 years. He should of pledged to give tax incentives/ subsidies to companies who will improve renewable energy and make it affordable for people to use, which won't happen without investment. Also, surely new energy standards are a good thing as less energy is wasted, meaning we will pay less as less is used.

Also, where are the enforcements on stuff like recycling but also packaging of consumer goods? Afforestation? Protection of endangered species? A hint at promising to stay out of the Arctic? Instead, he would rather approve Keystone XL! He may deny it now, but he will approve regardless of what he said.

When it comes to climate there is a plenty we can do to adapt but we are still not awake to the reality. That is very dangerous to our future prosperity

Totally agree with this. At least he is trying. here in canada the  *** prime minister still call climate changes an hoax. What a bunch of retards we have here.

Yeah, it's a shame. Canada had a good reputation on the environment before Steven Harper became PM. Damn conservatives, would rather make a quick buck than adapt to one of the biggest challenges humans will ever face. Conservatives everywhere need to wake up to reality 



PSP, PS3, Vita, 3DS, Wii U and PS4.

'Man is Wolf to Man' 

'When the people are being beaten with a stick, they are not much happier if it is called the people's stick'- Mikhail Bakunin

Deep, Deep sleep of England

Green Energy policies should really only be about preserving local greenery.

Attempting to stop climate change is the height of folly. You wouldn't be able to do anything comprehensive and useful without threat of war.


Carbon exporting/ demand for fossil fuels being FAR greater then supply means that all you do by giving up cheap energy is allow that cheap energy to be used by others.

 

It's like trying to save yourself a slice of pizza at a college frat party.  It's now or never for that Pizza

 

 

Investing in new energy?  Yeah awesome, we definitly should be doing that.  Espiecally with the army, we should try and make most army bases and vehciiles rely on renewable energies.

We shouldn't stop using  1 drop of gas for enviormental reasons though.



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the2real4mafol said:
1337 Gamer said:
I dont really have an issue with the underlying points of his ideas... HOWEVER what i do want to ask him is HOW ON EARTH does he plan to produce energy? Right now apart from Nuclear and Fossil fuels No other energy source is capable of generating sufficient energy to meet our needs... Unfortunately Nuclear reprocessing has been outlawed so Nuclear isnt nearly as cost effective or clean as it could be and for that It will be forever demonized... that leaves us with... Fossil fuels... Cool

Just because renewable energy isn't very good now doesn't mean it will always be this way. It's a fairly new technology, it just needs some investment and should be fine in a few years. Either way, we can't stick with fossil fuels. If the climate didn't change, we would still have to change as our over consumption of fossil fuels means they will run out very quickly and the consequences would be devastating if we suddenly had no energy. Just look at the panic caused by petrol shortages. We are humans, we can and must progress before it is too late. 

You should look into the proccess and waste it takes to make solar panels and then what happens to them when no longer in use thrown/out and the negative effects that biofuels have on world hunger causing starvation.

Nuclear really is still the best option.   Except not really because it's near impossible to build in the US/takes too long.